Sunday will never be the same…
On February 15, 2017, the world lost Stuart McLean. As a result, for me an ardent Vinyl Cafe listener Sundays will never be the same. More pervasively, the world seemed a less gentle and not as embracing of small joys as it was previously. We had tickets for the cancelled 2016 Christmas show of the Vinyl Café at Centre in the Square. Disappointment was overshadowed by concern for Stuart’s health.
This Christmas day, our youngest son James brought over the CBC Radio 1 final Vinyl Cafe Christmas Concert, recorded in Thunder Bay, Ontario on November 22nd, 2015 which we listened to while preparing dinner. There were Dave and Morley Christmas stories including the last Christmas story that Stuart wrote called the Christmas Card where Dave locks himself in a Canada Post mailbox. It was nostalgic, heartwarming and one of the best memories of Christmas 2017.
Under the tree was a very special gift from my husband Warren. This year’s edition of Christmas at the Vinyl Café. There are 12 Dave and Morley Christmas stories in the book. Classics like “Dave Cooks the Turkey” (how could that not be included), but also five new, never-before-published Christmas stories, including "The Christmas Card" story that we listened to while preparing Christmas dinner.
I also learned that as homage to Stuart’s memory, the Cross Country Checkup program aired on Sunday afternoons will present the Author awards in January. These awards were instituted by Stuart to celebrate everyday actions performed by ordinary people in the community that would otherwise go unnoticed. This annual event which was named for the fictious dog of the equally fictious David and Morley was a special favourite that honours unsung heroes.
These events reteach me a lesson that all of us who have lost significant people in our lives have experienced; when the memories are strong and the influence positivve reminds us of our better selves, no one will be forgotten.